K9 P.E.

Ready to learn the key elements to keeping your best friend healthy? It’s easy to neglect to realize that dogs, just like anyone else, should have a graduated and thoughtful exercise plan because many dogs are such natural athletes. Many of us push our dogs hard when we finally make good on our promise to go somewhere (if they’re lucky, on our day off, or maybe less frequent than that). Hiking for miles or trialing all weekend after a week of rest is a recipe for soreness and injury. We might get away with taking a dog from rest (like riding in the car) and let them immediately start sprinting after the ball, or a squirrel, or another dog. If you’ve worked out before, you know it’s crazy to perform intense activity without adequate preparation. Realistically, though, it’s not hard to believe the theory that as many as 80% of dogs have undiagnosed micro-injuries. So what can you do?

Is this good form?

Maybe you took some steps to try and educate yourself, looked around online and found incomplete information. You ordered some Fitpaws equipment and tried some random exercises seen on youtube. But did you know why to choose that exercise, how many reps/sets to do, how many days a week, which muscles were targeted, and if that was the right exercise to start off with? Exercising your dogs in poor form can actually be worse than not exercising them at all! Just think, if you have a weak foot and roll onto the edge of your foot, would you want to start doing a lot of sprint work or heavy lifting to start? Even if you can, you’ll be building the wrong muscles and making imbalances worse! There’s a lot to getting your dog in good shape.

Further, a workout plan needs to shift as your dog improves, so you need to understand how to choose the right combination of activities. You also need to know what exercise options there are so you can choose things that you’ll actually do, right?

Join this class and learn!

  • Learn how to realistically integrate exercise into your week.
  • Develop the ability to see correct form (from static postures to proper gaiting).
  • Know that there are differences in build and how structure effects function and understand what you can and shouldn’t ask of any individual.
  • Learn how to train tricks that teach the dog clearly how to perform exercise movements (there’s more to fitness than sit pretty! (in fact, you can choose better exercises than that)).
  • Learn about what kinds of exercise there are and how to use them in your routine.
  • Learn how to design your own training program. The plan that is right for this month will not be the plan that is right 5 months from now. YOU need to understand how to increase or decrease the demands accordingly.
  • Talk about balance pillows (Fitpaws and whatnot) and learn when and how to use them, and when alternatives can be substituted or may be preferred.
  • Develop a well-rounded approach to cross-train and enhance your chosen activities (sports, fetch, etc), equipping your dog as best you can to prevent injuries.

Class is appropriate for any dog that has been cleared by your vet to work. This class is for you if you are ready to learn how to train the fine motor movements necessary to target the correct muscle groups. This takes more skill than dragging the dog around by a treat at her nose. Only those interested in truly training a dog should take this class. Also, I ask that you take this class only if you are ready to commit to making thoughtful choices regarding your dog’s welfare. Working out is demanding: physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is cruel to go out and workout really hard all at once (like the weekend), and can have negative consequences.

What can you expect from this class? A lot!! BUT, we can only work at the rate that you and your dog are ready for. That means, you will not be fluent in advanced exercises after 1 class, for obvious reasons. This class meets every other week with 2 weeks time to get some practice in. On-going support is preferable to a concentrated introduction without follow through. For advanced participants, I hope to offer a monthly workout club in the future (think of what a helpful community that’ll be!). In Joy’s goal is to support you and your dog, from the nuances of training movements to educating you about how to make smart choices about working your dog, while, of course, making it enjoyable for your dog.

I’m currently working towards my CCAS certification. My background in dance and chi gung lends additional understanding and experience to the subject. I am not a vet or a rehab professional.

Class is held in Woodinville, WA. Head over to the rates and locations page for details.

Not local? Let’s work online!

Email: injoydogtraining@gmail.com             Phone: (360) 804-0286

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